Psicothema was founded in Asturias (northern Spain) in 1989, and is published jointly by the Psychology Faculty of the University of Oviedo and the Psychological Association of the Principality of Asturias (Colegio Oficial de Psicólogos del Principado de Asturias).
We currently publish four issues per year, which accounts for some 100 articles annually. We admit work from both the basic and applied research fields, and from all areas of Psychology, all manuscripts being anonymously reviewed prior to publication.

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How response bias affects the factorial structure of personality self-reports

David Navarro-González, Urbano Lorenzo-Seva and Andreu Vigil-Colet

Universitat Rovira i Virgili

Background: Various studies have shown that acquiescence can distort the factor structure of personality questionnaires based on the five-factor model.  In the present study, we analysed how acquiescence and social desirability affect the factor structure of a measure based on this personality model and a measure of aggression. Method: We analysed the factor structures of both tests before and after removing both biases in a sample of 532 adolescents aged between 11 and 18 (M= 14.75, SD= 2.1). Results: The factor structure of both tests presented a worse fit to the expected model when response bias was not controlled, and the congruence indexes for the personality and aggression measures showed a moderate (from C= .948 to C= .872) or great (from C= .931 to C= .475) decrease, respectively. Furthermore, acquiescence was largely responsible for these effects, and social desirability effects were only shown on the aggression measure. Conclusions:  Response bias, and especially acquiescence, should be controlled during the development of personality measures to avoid distorting them, especially with samples of people with a high level of acquiescence (for example, those with little education, the young or the elderly). Furthermore, the use of response bias loadings as a criterion for choosing the items minimizes those distortions.

Efectos de los sesgos de respuesta en la estructura factorial de los autoinformes de personalidad. Antecedentes: diversos estudios han mostrado que la aquiescencia genera distorsiones en la estructura factorial de los cuestionarios de personalidad. En este estudio analizamos los efectos tanto de la aquiescencia como de la deseabilidad social en la estructura factorial de dos cuestionarios. Método: se analizó la estructura factorial de ambos con y sin sesgos de respuesta en una muestra de 532 adolescentes con edades entre los 11 y los 18 años (M= 14.75 SD= 2.1). Resultados: cuando no se eliminó el efecto de los sesgos de respuesta, el ajuste de ambos tests en relación al modelo esperado empeoró, disminuyendo la congruencia factorial moderadamente (desde C= .948 hasta C= .872) o notablemente (desde C= .931 a C= .475) para las medidas de personalidad y agresividad, respectivamente. Además, la aquiescencia fue la principal responsable de estos efectos, mientras que la deseabilidad social tan solo afectó la medida de agresividad. Conclusiones: es necesario controlar los sesgos de respuesta para evitar estructuras factoriales distorsionadas, especialmente en muestras con elevados niveles de aquiescencia, como poblaciones con bajo nivel educativo, adolescentes o en la tercera edad. Además, la minimización de los sesgos de respuesta durante el proceso de elección de ítems parece reducir dichas distorsiones.


Impact factor 2021:   JCR (WOS): 4.104 (Q1)   |   SJR (Scopus) : 1.308 (Q1)    |  CiteScore 2020: 5,3